Each week CGN interviews a local art-industry professional to discuss the ins and outs of running a space in the city of Chicago. This week we caught up with Christopher Schneberger of Perspective Gallery.
Current Position: Board Member at Perspective Gallery, Adjunct faculty in Photography at Columbia College and College of DuPage
Hometown: Chicago (born and raised in Miami, FL)
5 favorites from the past week
Restaurant - Kimski in Bridgeport
Shop - Chicago Drum Exchange
Read – Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain (audiobook)
Neighborhood - Pilsen
Music - New albums by Rocket Miner and RLYR
CGN: Tell us about your background and your involvement with Perspective Gallery?
CS: I ran the photography program at the Evanston Art Center for thirteen years and had a number of students doing exhibition level work. Some of them decided to open a gallery and brought me in to consult about the idea. Before long we had decided to have a cooperative space with 20 area photographers, hosting exhibitions of members work and photographers at large. Our programming includes a lecture series of prominent photographers and curators, a curated invitational themed exhibition, a regional juried exhibition called Vicinity, a high school juried show, and a national juried exhibition (LENS) which brings in over 1000 submitted images each year for consideration.
CGN: Give us a day in the life!
CS: My life involves a lot of teaching. My career is really as an educator in photography, and I teach classes at Columbia College, the College of DuPage, and Dominican University. So I’m up in the morning and driving off to a school, trying to remember which one I’m going to! When I have time away from classes, I spend it doing work for the gallery which might entail managing one of the special exhibitions we have, or coordinating something within our membership like outings or installing exhibitions.
CGN: As a founding member of the non-profit group, how would you sum up your experience working with Perspective Gallery?
CS: It has been very rewarding to build Perspective Gallery from a just an idea to an institution on the Chicagoland photography landscape. A very dedicated group of people has made this possible, and it is my great honor to work with them. Our group has committees, and everything is done on a volunteer basis, with each member contributing to the success of the organization. When we began, we just hoped we could survive for a year, or until our first lease was up. Now we are looking years ahead and striving to become a recognized center for photography.
CGN: Any major successes this year? What about challenges?
CS: At the gallery we had a terrific show that I co-curated with member Stephanie Taiber called “Shadow Fixations,” featuring artists who deconstructed the photographic materials and challenged the nature of the medium, and featured the work of Doug Fogelson, Julie Weber, Juan Fernandez, Elina Ruka, and Jaclyn Wright. In March we had our 9th annual LENS juried exhibition which was curated by Paula Tognarelli, director of the Griffin Museum of Photography.
We’ve also had terrific lectures by Clarissa Bonet, Glenn Hansen, and Jeffrey Wolin. As for myself, I received the award for college-wide Outstanding Adjunct Faculty at College of DuPage, and was a visiting artist at Iowa State University.
Challenges? Finding time to make work while teaching up to six courses a semester!
CGN: What do you want to tell a young person considering this career path?
CS: Think about law school! Seriously though, it can be very enriching as a cultural pursuit, but there’s not much money in curating and teaching.
CGN: Favorite cultural pursuit outside of the art world?
CS: Music. I play drums in a band called Moon, and we’re releasing our third studio album on June 8th, with an album release show at Martyrs’ on Saturday, June 9th. I’m also an avid music listener, and I go to shows around Chicago on a weekly basis.
CGN: What should we expect to see next from Perspective Gallery in 2018?
CS: We’re looking forward to a politically charged exhibition in August curated by Jane Fulton Alt called #metoo. Jane is a terrific photographer and serves on our advisory board. We’ll also have more lectures. I have a show in September as well.
Christopher Schneberger is a photographer and board member of Perspective Gallery. For more information about the photography group please visit: Perspective Gallery.